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6 ways to spot a disengaged customer

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4 min read

Customers are the lifeline of your business, but it’s all too easy for your current customers to become disengaged and walk out the door. 

The key is to quickly identify when a customer is slipping away and take action before the worst happens.

🔍  Find out how to identify (and win back) a disengaged customer with our free checklist.

👀   Get this free checklist to identify disengaged customers.


Here are some tell-tale signs that it’s time to reach out to re-engage your customer.

1. Well, that’s new

When a customer has followed the same pattern the whole time they’ve been a customer, any minor change like buying less or opening fewer emails could indicate disengagement. Many customers are creatures of habit, especially with products they consume at a similar rate from week-to-week or month-to-month. 

Food items, cosmetics, and other consumables are where these patterns–and deviations from them–will be most noticeable. Still, any type of buying pattern that changes after many months or years of regularity can indicate your customer is on the brink of disengagement.

Now’s the time to offer a customer incentive to remind them to continue purchasing from your business. You could also include a personalized note about how much they’re valued.

2. I hear crickets 

When customers stop responding to emails or phone calls or respond more slowly, it’s a clear sign that they’re less engaged than they once were. Many brand-faithful customers closely follow updates and social media postings, but if that stops, you can bet they’re on their way out the door.

What can you do when a customer cuts off the usual communication channels? It’s time to pursue an omnichannel strategy that uses every channel possible to reach out to them—think phone calls, SMS, messaging, video calls, social media, live chat, email, and more. In fact, customers say they prefer to use different ways to contact customer service, so this strategy has the best chance of working.

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What is omnichannel customer support?

3. Loves me, loves me not

It can be hard to pick up on ambivalence sometimes if the customer is still making purchases, but if customer interactions have turned off-again, on-again over time, it can mean that disengagement is setting in. Ad fatigue is real, and consumers can get bored making the same purchasing decisions week after week and month after month.

The best way to get an ambivalent customer back on board is to shake things up and show them that their experience with your brand can be fresh. Getting to know the customer through a survey or one-on-one consultation can remind them of what they love about your products. Another idea is to introduce them to new products and experiences that they can then enjoy again and again.

💡 Pro-tip:

Set up one-on-one consultations with customers via phone, messaging, or videoconferencing with an award-winning unified communications solution, like RingCentral.

4. You’ve got subscription whiplash

This one applies to newer customers that may have just ordered your products for the first time. If you notice a one-time order followed by a quick unsubscribe from your mailing list, you may lose the chance to turn them into a repeat customer without some intervention. 

Reaching out by email to tell them you’re sorry to see them go, along with a discount or freebie with their next order, may be all you need to get them back and convert from a one-time customer to a repeat one. An offer of personal interaction with your team could help in cases where orders are more customized to the individual.

5. Where did everybody go?

If your website’s dropoff rate (on desktop or mobile) suddenly spikes, this could indicate a bigger problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Unfortunately, customers are just not that patient in today’s digital world. Many will not revisit your site after a bad experience, and you’ll have lost the chance to engage these customers forever.

You can alert customers via social media or SMS messaging that the problems were fixed so they can try again. Sending an email acknowledging the glitch is another good plan.

💡 Pro-tip:

Make sure your business is set up to succeed in the tech landscape. Start by ensuring your online presence (on both desktop and mobile) is reliable, quick to load, and simple to navigate with a clear call to action.

6. The squeaky wheel decides not to wait for the grease

This one deals with customer complaints, which are inevitable and don’t necessarily lead to losing customers. 

Of course, you should first do everything you can to address the complaint and make things right. Be sure you’re using the customer’s preferred communication channels and provide all-star support.

Exception to the rule: There’s one instance in which it may be best to leave a disengaged customer alone, however. Suppose you’ve done everything in your power to provide the best possible customer experience, and your customer is still complaining repeatedly or becoming a serious drain on your energy and resources. In that case, it may be time to part ways.

Business woman on mobile phone powering customer experience
Power your customer experience with RingCentral

Use the right communications tool to re-engage valuable customers

It’s all too easy for customers to disengage from your brand with competitors and distractions to woo them away. But all is not lost—it’s possible to hold onto a significant number of your customers if you put in the effort and show them you value them highly. 

Make your brand unforgettable by providing excellent customer experiences with every interaction. Choose and use the right communications tool to engage and connect with your customers on a regular basis. 

RingCentral offers a best-of-breed communications solution that can help you meet and exceed customer expectations and keep customers coming back for more. View a demo of RingCentral today to see how it works.

Originally published Mar 18, 2022, updated Dec 30, 2022

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